This article shows you how to source products on the Product Search page. By the end of this article, you'll know how to:
- customize product search settings
- create and edit a list of categories to search
- use filters to focus on profitable products
- track searches
Some of the options on the Product Search panel use toggles.
- In the OFF position, the toggle is orange.
- In the ON position, the toggle is blue.
1. Activating advanced tools
The Product Search page has two states: Advanced and Basic.
This article shows you how to use the Advanced tools. For information about the Basic tools, see:
To display Advanced tools on the Product Search page:
- Click Product Search on the side menu bar. The Product Search page displays.
- In the top left corner, click the toggle towards Advanced. The Advanced tools page displays.
2. Customize product search settings
The next step is to customise search settings at the top of Product Search panel. There are four settings on the panel:
- UPC Sites and Products Only
- Also Check UPC Products for Image Matches
- Set Cache
- Cache Only Search
1 UPC Sites and Products Only
This switch changes the type of websites and products that appear in the search panel.
- Toggle ON to limit your search to websites and products with a UPC (Universal Product Code) that matches items on Amazon.
- Toggle OFF to include results that match product titles or images on Amazon.
Toggle ON generates more accurate search results. This is a good thing because you'll spend less time scanning results with doubtful matches. This is a bad thing because this option generally produces fewer options in the search results.
- We suggest new Tactical Arbitrage users toggle ON while learning how to manage search results. Advanced users should toggle OFF to maximize results.
2 Also Check UPC Products for Image Matches
Toggle ON this switch if you want the search tool to check image matches at Amazon for products missing UPC codes.
Toggling ON is good because this tool can search hard-to-find items. It's bad because Toggling ON can double the search time.
- Note: This switch is hidden if you toggle ON UPC Sites and Products Only.
3 Set Cache
Before making a selection here, you need to understand the difference between a live search and a cache search.
- A live search scans company websites looking for current product information. That's a good thing. The downside is that it takes more time than a cache search.
- A cache search checks data in the Tactical Arbitrage cache memory. Every search run by our users is temporarily stored in cache memory.
Searching the cache has good and bad points. The good point is speed. A cache search produces results faster than a live search.
A cache search has three drawbacks.
- Product data (e.g. prices, availability, etc.) in the cache might be out of date, depending on how long you set the cache to, and how recently live results were extracted from there.
- The list of products that meet your search filter thresholds might be incomplete.
- Product promotions are generally captured during a live search. Relying on cache only searches could you missing special deals.
- New Tactical Arbitrage users run cache only searches until they get a feel for the search and analysis process.
- Run a cache search with a long cache period (3 to 5 days). This produces quick search results. Later on the View Data panel, click the Update All button on your results, to get current information.
4 Cache Only Search
- Toggle ON this switch and your search will look only at data in the cache memory. Be sure to select a time on the Set Cache drop-down menu.
- Toggle OFF this switch and you'll run a live search. That means Tactical Arbitrage checks current data on company websites.
3. Sourcing From and Selling At
3.1 Sourcing From
Select a country from which you'll source products. That means you're telling the platform to only show sourcing options from a certain country. This choice affects the range of websites that display in the Website panel (see below).
- Click the box beside Sourcing From. A drop-down menu displays.
- Select a country.
Generally, you'd select your base country, but that's not required. You're free to select any country from the drop-down menu. You could, for example, select Japan, though you might need to brush on your katakana if you want to read website product descriptions.
3.2 Selling at Amazon
Click here to decide where you'll sell products. The list of countries in the drop-down menu is the same as above (i.e. Sourcing From).
Generally, you'd select your home base country, but that's not required. If the Sourcing From and Selling At countries are different, you'll see another filter appear in the Costs and Fees filters for Cost per lb to ship Overseas - so you can add this additional fee. Currency conversions will be dealt with in the View Data results.
- Note: We suggest users specify the same country in the two boxes until developing an understanding of the platform.
Until this point, you've activated several broad filters on the Product Search page. Now it's time to begin the fun work. You're going to select a website to search and start sourcing products.
- Click the box beside Website. A drop-down menu displays.
- Scroll through the list.
- Select the website you want to search.
- To search this site, click the blue icon. The site opens in a new tab.
4.1 Which websites do I select?
Short answer: whatever you wish, preferably something with profitable items.
The long answer depends on several factors.
- For sheer volume and range of product selection, many users look at Walmart and Target. The downside though is many users select products from these retailers so there might be product saturation and strong competition.
- Look for sites that offer special discounts or promotions. This requires some research. It helps to open each site and see what promotions and coupon codes are listed. Sign up to their newsletters and you will get these promotions appearing in your morning in-box to help guide you.
You will soon have your favorites and routines in place.
After selecting a website, move down to the next row. Now it's time to think about a category. Category does not mean a name (e.g. books). Instead, category means a URL for a page that lists products you want to search.
We've got three tools for entering categories:
- Easy Bulk
- Categories (see below)
- Import Bulk Category List
5.1 Easy Bulk
For most users, Easy Bulk is the best option. It's (ahem) easy to use and generates good results.
With Easy Bulk, you can choose up to 500 URL categories.
- After selecting a website, a new panel displays on the right side of the screen.
- On the panel, click the center tab called Easy Bulk.
- Click Level 1. The drop-down menu displays.
- Click Select All.
- If the site has fewer than 500 URLs, you can select more, and when you are ready ADD TO BULK and you're done.
- Look at the panel on the left side of the page. The Bulk Categories Selected now totals 185 (out of a maximum of 500).
Remember to save or clear your Bulk Category selections before your next search.
5.1.2 Editing and saving a Bulk List
You can review, edit, save, and delete a Bulk List.
- Locate the Easy Bulk toggle on the left side of the page.
- To remove the Bulk List, click CLEAR.
- To save the file, click SAVE/EDIT. The YOUR BULK LIST panel displays.
- To save the list, click, NAME/SAVE and then type a file name in the box.
- To download the list, click DOWNLOAD CSV.
- To delete a URL inside the list, check the box and then click DELETE at the top of the list. Click DELETE in the conformation box.
- Note: You can also delete a row by clicking the X on the right side of the list. There is no confirmation box. When rows are deleted, there is no Undo button.
Easy Bulk is one way to place URLs in the category field. There's another way. It's not as simple, but it is a useful skill.
Let's look at an example.
In the example below, we've selected a website that sells classic toys. It's called tintoyarcade.com.
- After selecting a website, a new panel displays on the right side of the screen.
- On the panel, click the center tab called Category Example. One or more URLs display in the panel, which shows the style of category URL you will be looking for.
- Examine the website for URL's like this that you want to search and then paste that URL into the Categories field.
5.2.1 Paste URLs
You can paste up to 25 URLs into the Categories box. Paste each URL on a separate line.
5.3 Import Bulk Category List
This tool lets you import a large number of category URLs at one time. It's a time saver if you have a few hundred categories that you want to search.
Read this article for more information:
6. Start Page and Last Page
This signifies which search page in the category selected you would like to start and finish searching. For example, if you have already scanned pages 1-6, perhaps start with page 7.
You may leave this blank to automatically set this to start from Page 1 and to automatically stop scanning after it reaches the Last Page.
7. Filter Products
Scroll down to the bottom of the Product Search page and you'll find Filter Products. This is where you refine searches and find profitable products. All the filters offer potential benefits.
For more information, see these articles:
7.1 Before you start
Filters only work if you've entered website and category information in the Product Search panel.
Here's an example. The image below shows we want to search products on the Walmart website. We used Easy Bulk and selected the Children's Books category. As shown in the image, there are 388 URLs in that category.
For more information about using the Product Search page, see:
8. Saving filter configurations and searching
It's been a long journey, and now you're almost ready to launch a search. Just a couple of steps left.
Click here to learn how to:
- save your filters
- launch a search
Also, check out how to use the Search Manager tool.